Ah, I don’t know how to explain myself.

On the bright side, I think that mostly I do not need to because you knew you were coming with me despite your weak attempt to pretend that you were not. (I saw what you did there. I did.)

And…I see why you pretended that. The weirdness. I appreciate that you also concede that we’re the worst closing team ever because we get too distracted by being social…you know…despite our attempts to assure people that we don’t socialize and don’t really have friends. (Maybe this is what happens when you’re that poorly socialized.)

So I think those things don’t require an explanation. And I get that you don’t need my help. I get that. I do. You can look after yourself. But–and here is where I am at a loss for what to say–I feel the need to point out that I have a cat because I picked up a tiny black and white, malnourished puffball…because I didn’t want him to get run over and then say to myself, “You could have stopped that from happening.”

But I did. Four years later? He’s sleeping in a cat bed downstairs right now. Not dead.

I’ve said that here before. And I’ve said about the snake I wanted to kill and put out of its misery when it got run over by a lawnmower. And I told about the terrible guilt I feel when I think about it. I could not have saved him, but I could have done something. (Not that, you know, I’m saying I should run you over myself…that’s not what I mean.)

But I don’t want you to get run over. And letting you walk almost 9 miles in the dead of night seems like a bad idea. It just does.

I just want to help. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t.

Except that I have to assure myself that I wouldn’t let anyone else do this. Piece of cake, since I am pretty sure I wouldn’t. Just…you know. Everyone else has friends, family, or a SO in the area who will help them, and you, by your own admission of friendlessness, do not.

Yes. Okay. There is that. I can’t be your friend. Fine. That’s true.

Except…let me point out that if you don’t make it to work on a day we work together, that makes my job harder. So, thinking about it from that perspective…it’s in my best interest that you make it in and I don’t have to try and run the building by myself or call someone in.

And if that doesn’t suffice…look. Last summer, I said to myself that I would not stay with someone because she would be okay. She did not need me, and because of work…I left her with someone. I didn’t feel good about it, but I said to myself that it was easier to leave her with him than to have to explain to anyone at work if they heard about it (you know, since we can’t be friends), or to Jester or to my parents why I had stayed over the night at this guy’s house.

I should have just stayed.

But I did not.

Naturally, something terrible happened to her. And I feel sick with guilt when I think about it. How I could have stopped it. I wouldn’t’ve needed to do anything. My mere presence would have been enough.

I don’t really know how to explain that to you in a way that will sound rational, because this is a rather different situation. But I am glad that you let me drive you home so that I do not have to lie awake, wondering if I will see on the news that you were struck by a car in the dark.

I couldn’t live with that.